20th Carnival of the Godless!

Welcome one and all! Oh ye of little faith and those like me with none, partake & enjoy!

Today is a celebratory occasion of the godless* world of blogging and this is the 20th Carnival of the Godless. I'm your host for the day: a silly human by name o' Michael Bains.

As any who’ve read me know, I traverse a path of examination of our species as a whole via its collective cultural components (and I’ve no qualms 'bout using $10 words [cuz I LIKE ‘EM!*
*] as well as the slang o’ my youth.) You’ll find a lot of variation here on any given day, but for such an event as a CotG I’ve gathered a motherload!

I try to constrain my bloggin' to practical ideas for the most part cuz it seems to make it easier for me to convey my meaning to folks of sundry backgrounds. Thus I feel it necessary to pimp a post o’ my own that defines what I mean when I use the word
Spirituality. Mystery¬Mysticism! That being done, we can begin the fun with a couple of primer posts featuring Favorable Views of ideas beyond empirical fact. Not ALL that is mysterious is bullshit eh... Open and honest dialogue is one of the first methods of getting to bottom of things.


Belief in God: That Other Trinity
Paul Martin is not a Canadian Prime Minister. He does do what I consider a wonderful job ministering to a cadre of, er, faithful followers on his A Spiritual Diablog. His post Belief in God: That Other Trinity poses the question which is central the entire issue of theism:

So if we believe in God on the basis of something other than experience and reason, what would that be?
I think it is always important to have a good idea about what this answer is to individuals with whom we, as atheistic thinkers, would converse. I mean, for example, that they might be like Einstein and see the whole of the Universe as the God thing. They might have more sinister ideas though... It helps to know.

Isn’t the Gospel of Mark Wonderful?
Alun is a young Archaeoastronomer (workin’ on his Letters), and has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. As a student and lover of the ancient works of homo his interests seem to give him a more overt appreciation of even one the silliest of human works: the bible.
... just as we can use Homer to examine the life of the archaic Greeks, so the New Testament reveals some of what life was like for the non-elite in the Roman Empire. For such people this was a desperate time.
Isn’t the Gospel of Mark Wonderful? Alun looks at the gospel of St Mark as a description of a strong and loving man who finds, at his end, that no matter the strength of his faith and belief or the efficacy and honor of his mission, one man alone can only do so much. His comments on the crucifixion for a taste:
…And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.” That, to me, seems to be the tragic call of an honest man who has done what he believes to be right who discovers in the end that the good that he had done had come from within him rather than some external force. Rather than endure the agony of crucifixion he drinks the poison offered and exits life.

Uneven Ground
When it comes to the practice of rhetoric, I’m willing to bet that most of us have heard the explanation of how atheism is a “weak” argument. An overwhelming majority opposes it and it makes a statement of lack vis-a-vie gods and the supernatural. Religion, it is said, is the “stronger” argument in that it is advanced by multitudinous millions of individuals and is a simple explanation for phenomena that have no other explanation than god-did-it.

Hank Fox offers some excellent tips & reasoning on how to smooth out this Uneven Ground.
Lots of people think atheism, the assertion that no god or gods exist, is logically insupportable. However, there's a larger element to the logical argument which is always left out, but which is absolutely necessary for a full understanding of just how logical and rational atheism really is.
His post is especially important to me because I once replied to some commenters suggesting Hank's views were "bitter" in an ignorant explanation for that possibility. Upon actually reading a bunch of his posts, I found his blog to be filled with compassion, courtesy and well-thought-out ideas. I think it just goes to show that some folk will use any dishonest and emotionally swollen tactics to avoid having to give credit where it is due and, much more importantly, I got the valuable reminder to
"Seek truth for authority, not authority for truth."***

An Open Letter to Gay Marriage Opponents
When it comes to uneven ground in politics, minorities of most stripes have the bumpiest roads to hoe. Ed Brayton, an excellent riff artist on his own blog – Dispatches from the Culture Wars – went ahead and initiated an ensemble of idea riffers (that’s riffers, not reefers!) in the new and expanded Inscrutable Zone – er, our founder, Brent Rasmussen’s Unscrewing the Inscrutable.

An Open Letter to Gay Marriage Opponents addresses the humanity and, quite simply, the sameness of homosexual couples and individuals who are refused - BY LAW!!! - the same respect and human caring that any other person may receive when they are in nursing homes or hospitals or any other position where all that is left is the right to enjoy the company of their loved ones as their time slips away.
I want people and society as a whole to view those relationships no differently than they view any other relationship because that is an important step toward allowing gay people the same dignity that the rest of us take for granted and never have to think about.
But get ready cuz this isn’t one of those “wow that was great but way-too-short"ers! The comments were astounding and insightful in great part thanks to one christian detractor who goes by the moniker Gadfly. I’ve seen religious arguments before which were based purely upon scripture but Gadfly’s opposition to Gay Marriage was based upon the tired ol’ religious meme that
homosexuality and paedophilia are morally one and the same! What I found even more grotesque, and think may likely have encouraged the abundance of counter-arguments presented, is how he repeatedly claimed that there is evidence exonerating paedophiles (but not gays!) simply because some historically advanced societies had institutionalized it!

Why Our Society is Secular
Chris Hallquist, of The Uncredible HallQ makes an excellent point in his Why Our Society is Secular as to why religions aren’t simply laughed out of existence when all of their false premises and (in)articulations of revelatory experiences as “fact” are disproven and refuted scientifically on a daily basis. It has to do with how Historians routinely ignore "edicts of gods" in their accounts of their subject. They don’t even mention history-makers’ belief systems unless they are so Out-in-left-field as to be the obvious cause of historic events. If they don’t acknowledge and dismiss it, then it MUST still be true! {sigh}
It is a commonplace in these discussions for it to be insisted that people are entitled to their own beliefs, and as the minority party, we atheists should of course be glad of tolerance when we can get it. But tolerance doesn't mean we can't examine one another's ideas critically. The theists commonly claim that atheism is somehow connected to immorality. Among other things, I attempt to respond to this by making the moral case for atheism.
Good motivator to talk about politics and religion in “mixed” company Chris!

A Conversation With Delta’s Mother
Family can be especially challenging when one is eschews embracing the supernatural wants not to hide such an important part of their life simply because some find it terrifying to imagine. The Inscrutable COTG Creator himself, Brent Rasmussen, offers a personal anecdote, A Conversation With Delta’s Mother (in ref to a link to another’s) that perfectly articulates the best reason for Tolerance and Courtesy when discussing matters of Faith & its absence: that believer might just be your mother!

Jesse Needs Your Help!
“They” say atheists are hopeless, intolerant people who just want to take “their” rights away. As I hope I’ve made plain, the theme of this Carnival of the Godless has been one of Tolerance, Reason and Communication for the benefit of all. I can honestly say that my life does have reason. That my raison d’etre if you will, is to be as fully human as my genetic make-up will allow. I make mistakes – sometimes even knowingly – but I am too Moral a person to ever try and scam a person out of anything; whether it be their honor or their money.
On that note and in conclusion - hold onto yer wallets for this one! – the inimitable DarkSyd needs your input on how to deal with, um, well, shall we just say “phone spammers”…

Be sure to let him know how you would handle Jesse’s boy cuz
Jesse Needs Your Help!

As seems to always be the case, there was simply no way I could fit each and every Carnivalian submission into this weeks event. The few left out were appreciated though and, if you didn’t read yours here, be sure to submit again. Watch for the next Carnival of the Godless on August 21, 2005 at the digs of the notorious
No More Mr. Nice Guy. Be prepared. At UTI the tagline is “I’m not angry. I just don’t agree with you.” Here I use a quote ‘bout lettin’ out what’s inside you or it’ll kill ya! My dawg “No Mo” prefers a more, shall we say, invigorating approach: “… Take cover, you drooling neanderthals, because you're going to get what's coming to you!

Aaahhh... The fur's gonna fly! LOL!


* Of course it is my understanding that the entirety of the Universe is godless; even for those who think otherwise.

** actually it's more because there are times when slang or general usage words just cannot fully express the idea I'm trying to get out. WTF...

*** Motto of the 19th century Women's Suffragettes, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton


  1. Great Carnival. I am still chasing linx, I mean links. Thanks so much for your efforts.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts